Dr. Jay Gordon's Web Site - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 44 Old 03-25-2004, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is Circumcision Necessary is not available. I wonder why?

All the others are good and very informative. But I do want to know whether he thinks it is NECESSARY or not.

http://www.drjaygordon.com/links/circ.htm
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#2 of 44 Old 03-25-2004, 03:43 AM
 
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He has clearly stated that it is not necessary when he posted here. However, he has also posted that it is a parents right to make the decision and have it done to the child which also means that he believes that men have no right to their God given body and full sexuality. Even when pressed, he demurred.



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#3 of 44 Old 03-25-2004, 04:56 AM
 
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INteresting. He has posted here (other forums) before....
I used to like him...

Maybe someone should ask him to come explain his position?

Ilaria mamma to Owen, Caroline & Patrick .... loving life as expats in Asia intactlact.gifnovaxnocirc.gifuc.jpgnamaste.gif
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#4 of 44 Old 03-25-2004, 12:54 PM
 
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He has posted in this forum on several occasions. However, he thought he got a hostile reception and has apparently has decided not to come here again. I have exchanged several PMs with him and have asked that he become a regular part of our group explaining that we need his participation, his knowledge and his reputation in our fight. I have noticed he is posting in other forums.

His feeling is that saying circumcision is not a parents right will cause some to tune out of the overall message that circumcision is not necessary and he doesn't want to lose the ears of those parents.

Since I have not been successful in wooing him back, maybe someone else can try and be more successful. I would really, really like to have him as a regular participant.




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#5 of 44 Old 03-26-2004, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Gosh Iwish I knew the saying -

When a man has taken a position he will defend it even (or especially) when he realizes that it has been the wrong position...

Does anyone know it?

I can't even remember who said it. Might have been Gandhi?
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#6 of 44 Old 03-26-2004, 01:44 AM
 
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Hi friends,
I noticed this topic and had to post here, although I'm sure I'll be flamed mercilessly.
Anyway here goes:
I've posted elsewhere that Jay Gordon has been a non-circumcising advocate for many years. When he was our pediatrician, there was no doubt about his position. He's been an advocate of Attachment Parenting for a long time. In my 24 years of experience with Pediatricians and Urologic Surgeons, Jay has been a breath of fresh air and common sense.

Looking at the Links (provided by his website) that address Circumcision, I see NOHARMM, NOCIRC, the 'poster baby' question about 'your baby on a circumstraint'...and I have to ask you: what does it take to get the point across that he doesn't recommend circumcision?

One of the unpleasant realities in the health profession is the fact that our role is often reduced to offering advice and information...despite how strongly we may advocate leaving children intact, parents still decide to do otherwise.
It is a right of all parents to make medical decisions for their children.
How do you recommend we address parents who decide to circumcise? There are some who 'get it' and there will be some who (for reasons known only to themselves) are willing to argue about their stance. Do we refuse to care for their children? Draw a line in the sand over this issue?

I am sad to see Jay spoken of as if he were deficient in some way. You risk trivializing the work he's done for years.
The whole world of parenting does not rest on a single issue.
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#7 of 44 Old 03-26-2004, 02:08 AM
 
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Since my first reply, I looked at the links he provides and they are all very strongly anti-circumcision.

Ilaria mamma to Owen, Caroline & Patrick .... loving life as expats in Asia intactlact.gifnovaxnocirc.gifuc.jpgnamaste.gif
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#8 of 44 Old 03-26-2004, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Frank,

You can count on me to be the lousiest "wooer" especially when I see absolutely no reason to "woo".

What the "wooee" needs is "Mehr Licht!" (Goethe)

Translation:
Open the second shutter, so that more light can come in.
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#9 of 44 Old 03-27-2004, 05:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ilaria
Since my first reply, I looked at the links he provides and they are all very strongly anti-circumcision.
--- Thanks, Ilaria: my interpretation of Jay's position after knowing the man as a pediatrician...is that he's very strongly in favor of babies remaining intact. I don't know how he got the reputation here for being 'lukewarm' about it.
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#10 of 44 Old 03-27-2004, 11:00 AM
 
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He stated that it's a parents right to make a decision to have a man circumcised. That is not a very popular opinion here. It totally ignores the rights of the victim and his rights to not have his genitals modified to someone else's wishes. In fact, the parents do not have a right and the reason it is allowed is that those who have a responsibility to uphold the law choose to ignore it.

It reminds me of once when I was pulled over for speeding. I asked the trooper why he didn't get those who were passing me. He asked me "Have you ever gone fishing?" I replied "Yes." and he asked "Did you catch all of the fish?" In this case, those responsible for catching the fish aren't even going fishing.





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#11 of 44 Old 03-27-2004, 01:42 PM
 
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Frank,

While I agree that parents don't have the right to alter a baby's appearance for cosmetic reasons - THEY STILL DO! They have "the right." It's a simple (sad) fact.

Regretably, parents can choose to do this. Nobody can stop them. So I don't see Dr. Jay as wrong when he states the obvious. It is up to the parents. (Sadly, most parents are not given any information - particularly con - by the OB or whoever does the circ.)

(Though... aside from his website, he should be a stronger anti-circ voice, especially at Fit Pregnancy magazine, where new mothers, like me 4 years ago, could have used that perspective.)

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#12 of 44 Old 03-27-2004, 02:36 PM
 
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Quote:
He stated that it's a parents right to make a decision to have a man circumcised.
I didn't see that on his website, but if it's true, then it's just plain wrong.

Quote:
Regretably, parents can choose to do this. Nobody can stop them
That's true, but like anything it's also a parents' choice not to put kids in a carseat....but no one is presenting as a viable choice, KWIM?

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#13 of 44 Old 03-27-2004, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Whenever I go look for a baby book for a new mom as a present, the first two things I look under are circumcision and vaccination. If the author is for either, I do not buy the book.
So far the only book I came across worthy is from Peggy O'Mara "Raising a healthy Family"

Look at Jay Gordon's book and just see for yourself what it says. Then you know for sure.
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#14 of 44 Old 03-27-2004, 10:46 PM
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nak
Here is my problem with the issue. Can anyone find his opinion of circ on his site? And I mean clearly? Links to balanced information sould be a requirement of the entire medical field - it should be what we expect to see, not what we are surprised to see. It shouldn't impress us, it should be standard! Offering his personal opinion in plain sight would = true advocacy.

The question: "What is your opinion of circ?"

The possible answers of an anti circ dr:

A: "while it is socially acceptable to circ your son, and the decision is left up to the parents, there is this evidence that shows you may not want to do it, it is often not necessary, and can be harmful."

B: "I don't believe parents should have the right to circ. for cosmetic reasons and I have this evidence to back my opinion."

Response A does not show - point blank - the author's opinion, and it actually avoids the question. Response B however tells you exactly what the autor thinks in no uncertain terms. Both offer the facts, but to me, response B is a more respectable answer. It takes a much stonger character to clearly state one's opinion regardless of possible reprisal.

Unfortunatly, we are so used to dr's just saying "it is up to the parent" (as if this is the full length and breadth of the issue - "do you wanna or don't you - flip a coin I don't have all day") that any attempt at balanced info is applauded and the author is a hero. IMHO the person who has the right idea AND the guts to say so with tact (yet not to the sacrifice of diluting the message) despite popular opinion is the true hero.

(my apologies for typos - I've got a nibble naker - ouch!)
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#15 of 44 Old 03-28-2004, 11:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tanibani
Frank,

While I agree that parents don't have the right to alter a baby's appearance for cosmetic reasons - THEY STILL DO! They have "the right." It's a simple (sad) fact.

Regretably, parents can choose to do this. Nobody can stop them.

You are confusing what is a right and what the law enforcers choose to turn a blind eye to. Legally speaking, a parent has no legal right to circumcise a child.

First of all, there is no disease or deformity to be treated or remedied.

Second, it the 1996 FGM law that says that no parts can be modified. The fact that this law is aimed at females and does not mention males is immaterial. That very fact makes it discriminatory and in conflict with the 14th ammendment of the US Consititution, specifically, the equal rights clause of the Civil Rights Ammendment. Therefore, every male who has been circumcised as a minor since 1996 has had his civil rights violated. The problem is that those who are charged with protecting our constitutional rights are asleep at the switch. Contrary to your statement that nobody can stop them, there are quite a few who could stop them. First in line is the doctor who could say "It would violate his constitutional rights and I don't want to be sued 18 years from now." Next comes the state medical boards, state and federal legislators, the medical associations and numerous others who could do the ethical thing and step up to the plate. Sadly, they are all cowards. They leave this up to us who must use our limited resources to effect a social change that will take years. It's like fighting a war with a pellet gun while they have tanks but refuse to use them.





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#16 of 44 Old 03-28-2004, 04:35 PM
 
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Thanks for the explanation Frank. That makes more sense.

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#17 of 44 Old 03-29-2004, 04:16 AM
 
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Originally posted by Frankly Speaking He stated that it's a parents right to make a decision to have a man circumcised. That is not a very popular opinion here. It totally ignores the rights of the victim and his rights to not have his genitals modified to someone else's wishes. In fact, the parents do not have a right and the reason it is allowed is that those who have a responsibility to uphold the law choose to ignore it.

It reminds me of once when I was pulled over for speeding. I asked the trooper why he didn't get those who were passing me. He asked me "Have you ever gone fishing?" I replied "Yes." and he asked "Did you catch all of the fish?" In this case, those responsible for catching the fish aren't even going fishing.
Frank
1. I can see why Jay Gordon chose to leave the site.
I'd have done the same.

2. The issue has become 'who is responsible for a child's rights'?
---If not the parents, then whom?
---If advocacy is the issue, who determines the best advocate for the rights of a child?

3. For better or worse, parents make the best decisions they can for their children. A few make such terrible decisions they endanger the lives of their kids...and children die of neglect.

4. It is harder to remain in dialogue with parents rather than insist on an 'all-or-nothing' stance on one issue which leaves everyone deadlocked, ending the dialogue.

5. It is easier to label someone as 'flawed' or 'wrong-thinking' without seeing how or where we agree.

6. Part of our training as Health Care Professionals is not to judge our clients. It takes maturity, compassion, and skill to understand who our patients are, where they're coming from (demographically) -- and address the issues from a supportive/positive perspective. The term 'health care team' w/ regards to childrens' medicine, means the patient, the parents, and the health caregivers. Our goal is to work together for the best possible outcome for our children.

We can educate, demonstrate, and discuss any issue with parents, but when it comes to anything elective (like circumcision) it is essentially the parents who are responsible for making the final decision.

[[I recognize there are incidents of circumcision done without consent: and I hope parents seek the most severe penalty available under the law for any transgression.]]

7. Parents who choose to alter a child's appearance for cosmetic reasons include those who have cleft palate repair.
The problem becomes how to differentiate the two legally w/o 'legislating' more and more subjective aspects/decisions of parenting?

8. Last but not least, I must respectfully disagree with your assessment of my colleagues as cowards.
Anyone who completes training in the profession and goes on to many years of patient care deserves respect.
As much as you, or I, or anyone on this forum deserves respect.
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#18 of 44 Old 03-29-2004, 08:42 AM
 
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(1.) I very well may offend you too.

(2.) Unfortunately, everyone is asleep at the switch on this issue. That is no excuse for non-action.

(3.) When the medical profession has been saying the risks of the procedure out weigh any unproven benefits and the procedure is cosmetic, the medical profession has a responsibility to step up to the plate. Too many children have died from this useless procedure for it to continue. The medical profession has been irresponsible and continues to be so for more than 30 years and counting. There is no other medical procedure the profession will allow on normal healthy organs for appearance only and solely on the request and demand of the parent.

(4.) Would you say the same thing about an Ethiopian parent who wanted their daughter's clitoral hood and labia removed? Why not? Isn't that sexist and discriminatory? How can you justify different treatment of the two sexes?

(5.) If you continue to offer and support genital modification of males, we simply don't agree. It is purely wrong.

(6.) It takes maturity, compassion and skill to educate the parent about the wrongness of purely cosmetic genital modification that is painful, disabling and a violation of a human being's constitutional rights. It takes a moment to tell a parent you don't do those things to an innocent being who can't speak for himself. Altering the genitals of a man purely because the parent is not educated and you won't take the time or effort to educate them is not the best outcome for the child. It is the worst outcome that can possibly be.

(7.) A cleft palate is a birth defect. A foreskin is not. In the case of a foreskin being a birth defect, it is only a birth defect of being born to the wrong parents. A physcian is not obligated by any law or custom to carve up the genitals of a newborn.

(8.) They are either cowards for being afraid to confront parents who are ignorant or they are greedy and want the cash flow in their practice more than they want to protect a man's constitutional rights. Take your choice! There are no other options. Just because they have gone to school and showed up for their job everyday does not mean they deserve respect. Respect is earned by actions and any person who would cut up the genitals of another human being from fear of confrontation or greed has not earned respect. They have earned angst and condemnation. That's what they get here.




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#19 of 44 Old 03-29-2004, 09:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Frankly Speaking
(1.) I very well may offend you too.

You have, but I'll keep trying to reach out.

(2.) Unfortunately, everyone is asleep at the switch on this issue. That is no excuse for non-action.
You haven't answered my question here; who do you believe is responsible for the well-being of children, if not the parents?

(3.) When the medical profession has been saying the risks of the procedure out weigh any unproven benefits and the procedure is cosmetic, the medical profession has a responsibility to step up to the plate. Too many children have died from this useless procedure for it to continue. The medical profession has been irresponsible and continues to be so for more than 30 years and counting. There is no other medical procedure the profession will allow on normal healthy organs for appearance only and solely on the request and demand of the parent.
The truth is, MANY in the medical profession have been saying it is unecessary and harmful. Agreement among them is not 100%. The not-yet-addressed-issue is liability; would you support the lawsuits of thousands of doctors who initially believed they were doing the right thing...and came around to admitting circumcision is inappropriate?
When a doc reverses his stance, he has lots to lose. (Picture the witness stand, prosecuting counsel asks the doc, "So, you NOW believe circumcision is WRONG?"
Dr. "Yes. I've changed my policy, based on information new to me, and long, careful thought. It's a procedure I did. I no longer do them, and believe it's a violation of a child's constitutional right to wholeness."
Attorney: "Fine. You did a procedure for years that you now believe is a violation of childrens' rights. I rest my case."

-- The MD loses his shirt, his livlihood, and his practice.
-- Your cause 'wins'.
-- We all lose the benefits of a practicing physician who --according to your requirements-- must commit financial and professional suicide to be considered 'correct'.
-- Where's the incentive to ask parents to be better informed?


(4.) Would you say the same thing about an Ethiopian parent who wanted their daughter's clitoral hood and labia removed? Why not? Isn't that sexist and discriminatory? How can you justify different treatment of the two sexes?
Keep in mind that currently we do not perform FGM here in the USA. It IS sexist and discriminatory that we continue to do male circs (personally, I do not support the practice) and I don't justify different treatment of the two sexes. It's an unfortunate fact of the current reality.
FGM is now, (according to Hanny-Lightfoot-Klien's website) being performed by nurses in hospital in Africa. The infection and dirty-razor issue is being eliminated: isn't it interesting that the point was missed there about the child's need for an intact body? Clearly, the cultural ideas about female purity and bloodlines are more important to those who continue the practice. Surprises the heck out of me!
However, I am speaking of what's currently practiced here.
-- but the rate of male circs here is falling steadily. When parents stop asking for a procedure, it will die a long-overdue-death.


(5.) If you continue to offer and support genital modification of males, we simply don't agree. It is purely wrong.
I didn't continue to offer it....never have.
I don't support it.
I also don't speak for all doctors or nurses....and this isn't addressing my question, which is an important one:
in the dialogue, it seems best to find that middle ground of agreement. When a child arrives in the OR with a broken leg, I don't refuse to assist in treatment because the parents had him circumcised. Maybe I don't understand your point....you're not suggesting this are you?

You also ignore the impact of the media: last time I picked up a PARENTS Magazine, the issue of circumcision was not addressed as strongly as I'd hoped. Why is that, I wonder?


(6.) It takes maturity, compassion and skill to educate the parent about the wrongness of purely cosmetic genital modification that is painful, disabling and a violation of a human being's constitutional rights. It takes a moment to tell a parent you don't do those things to an innocent being who can't speak for himself. Altering the genitals of a man purely because the parent is not educated and you won't take the time or effort to educate them is not the best outcome for the child. It is the worst outcome that can possibly be.
Frank, you're not addressing the fact that many parents aren't willing to even discuss the ethics involved circumcising their son. Their reactions are all over the place.
Some parents aren't willing or ready to hear what has been taken away from them! (if the father is circ'd)
--- I still get answers like, "I'm doing it because he must look like his dad, and our sex life has been just fine, thank you very much!"


(7.) A cleft palate is a birth defect. A foreskin is not. In the case of a foreskin being a birth defect, it is only a birth defect of being born to the wrong parents. A physcian is not obligated by any law or custom to carve up the genitals of a newborn.
Yes, a cleft palate is a birth defect. However, many children don't get the cosmetic benefits of reconstruction since the defect isn't seen as life-threatening.
My point being that not all cosmetic surgery performed on children isn't with the incorrect intent or outcome. It's hard to take an 'all or nothing' stance and not think of an exception that 'breaks the rule'. That was my point.The problem becomes how to differentiate the two legally w/o 'legislating' more and more subjective aspects/decisions of parenting?


(8.) They are either cowards for being afraid to confront parents who are ignorant or they are greedy and want the cash flow in their practice more than they want to protect a man's constitutional rights. Take your choice!*** There are no other options. Just because they have gone to school and showed up for their job everyday does not mean they deserve respect. Respect is earned by actions and any person who would cut up the genitals of another human being from fear of confrontation or greed has not earned respect. They have earned angst and condemnation. That's what they get here.

***The third choice is this: parents turn away from educational opportunities about circumcision all the time.
We confront parents frequently, Frank.
Some are willing to hear the facts about circumcision.
Sadly, many, many are not.
Some are incredibly defensive about the practice, to the point of hostility. They make up their minds, and believe me, when most American women say they think an uncircumcised penis is ugly....parents perceptions go a long ways towards making this a reality, despite offering education to the contrary.

I believe it is far more productive to remain in dialogue with the parents (who go outside the practice and have their sons cut), and look for the ways and means to continue the dialogue without alienating them. The first thing we try to do is develop trust. Until a parent trusts us, what we have to say falls on deaf ears.
Respectfully,
Ocean_Swimmer

Frank
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#20 of 44 Old 03-30-2004, 01:06 AM
 
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OceanSwimmer, while I agree with a lot of things you are saying, I just wanted to respond to this:
Quote:
You haven't answered my question here; who do you believe is responsible for the well-being of children, if not the parents?
Of course the parents are responsible for their child's well being. That doesn't mean you and your colleagues would perform FGM at a parent's request..... right?: I'm not allowed to remove the tip of my child's finger because I feel like it....... even if I believed I was being responsible for the well-being of my child. You'd call CPS on me and my child would be taken away. I'm a bit confused by the point you're trying to make.
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#21 of 44 Old 03-30-2004, 01:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUTE]***The third choice is this: parents turn away from educational opportunities about circumcision all the time.
We confront parents frequently, Frank.
Some are willing to hear the facts about circumcision.
Sadly, many, many are not.
Some are incredibly defensive about the practice, to the point of hostility. They make up their minds, and believe me, when most American women say they think an uncircumcised penis is ugly....parents perceptions go a long ways towards making this a reality, despite offering education to the contrary. [/QUOTE]

In California the circumcision rate dropped to 30% after parents were shown a video of a circumcision before they had to decide on the fate of the foreskin of their newborn. Simple as that!

The Video was "Whose Body Whose Rights?"
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#22 of 44 Old 03-30-2004, 06:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by candiland
OceanSwimmer, while I agree with a lot of things you are saying, I just wanted to respond to this:

Of course the parents are responsible for their child's well being. That doesn't mean you and your colleagues would perform FGM at a parent's request..... right?: I'm not allowed to remove the tip of my child's finger because I feel like it....... even if I believed I was being responsible for the well-being of my child. You'd call CPS on me and my child would be taken away. I'm a bit confused by the point you're trying to make.
candiland,
No, we would not perform FGM at a parent's request. To my knowledge, this has not happened in the USA for many years.
And no, you're not allowed to remove the tip of your child's finger because you feel like it.
Ultimately, the matter stands like this: in a real world, parents aren't perfect. Try as we all do to raise our kids well, we make mistakes. If you want to legislate a watchdog-agency to ensure kids aren't circumcised, you will create a monster.
The point I'm trying to make is this fact: like it or not, parents make the decision on the issue of circumcision. It may be against the constitutional rights of the child. It is a procedure that needs to go away. We all are in agreement about this.
The point is, once you place the law as the final arbiter of a child's well-being in this case (circumcision) I'm afraid a Pandora's Box of unintended results may happen. I don't want the government deciding if the Family Bed is appropriate, for example. You all might see this as a clear-cut situation where the family's rights are firmly in place: but what if someone decides it is injurious to the child's psyche? [I'm trying to demonstrate that allowing the courts to intervene in this matter might -- just might--create a precedent that allows the law to interfere with our right to raise our children in a personal style that many perceive as 'alternative'.]
I understand this Forums dislike and certainly perceive the animosity directed at any physicians who perform male circumcision.
Frank,
My original post was made because in spite of his stance of not ever doing a circumcision, posting a website that has links to some of the strongest anti-circumcision websites available....and joining the discussion here,
this Forum apparently views Dr. Gordon as 'the enemy'.
Specifically because his style isn't as outspoken as some folks here believe is 'correct'. He was placed in the same category as a doctor who still espouses the notion of male infant circumcision (and performs the procedure) despite the evidence against the practice having any possible value.
A Pediatrician's job is not a 'day in day out' kind of thing. It is not a simple "Just because they have gone to school and showed up for their job everyday" (sic) "..does not mean they deserve respect."
--- a Pediatrician's work is a vocation, a choice to make a positive difference in childrens' lives every day (including those nights on-call too) These people do not choose this work: they are called to do it. The work is sometimes thankless, and occasionally heartbreaking. It is high stress and very difficult.

Neither Dr. Gordon or I support circumcision:
why am I getting the impression we are on trial here, guilty until proven innocent? I don't believe either of us deserve angst and condemnation. Nor do we deserve to be placed in the same category of physicians who do.
Clearly you can see the difference?

bjbjd,
Did you know a video was made in the early 80s at Marin General Hospital, California of a circumcision?
The intent was to allow parents to view the procedure before deciding, thereby making an informed decision.
The nurse who made the video was asked to resign; Hospital Administration allegedly received complaints that the video was 'too upsetting to some parents'.
The nurse was Marilyn Milos, who went on to start NOCIRC.
If the allegations are true, and parents complained, you begin to get the point I'm making.
For the information to get out, parents (and grandparents) need to be open to receiving new information.
Magazines, Clinics, and Hospital facilities need to be persuaded that this information is in the interest of the public good.
Not everyone is willing to hear the facts.
It's become a non-allowed topic at La Leche League meetings, although many parents want to discuss it.
I don't know how well the topic is covered at childbirth classes nowadays....perhaps you have access to some information you could share about this.
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#23 of 44 Old 03-30-2004, 10:31 AM
 
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In 1996 Harborview Hospital in Seattle was trying to make it possible for them to do "just a little harmless FGM". The reason they were put in that position is because they were being called out on being sexist discriminators when they were soliciting for male circumcision. They never would have been put in the position by the Somali immigrants if they hadn't been so eager to cut the boys born at their medical institution for cultural reasons.

If the medical doctors had a simple policy of not mutilating the genitals of children and calling CPS or INS on any person who showed an interest in mutilating the genitals of their children, male or female... it would be a lot more simple.

But they knew they couldn't explain away why they were offering the male circumcision when the FGM that the somalis wanted was LESS invasive, less damaging and less of a sexual control than the male circumcision that the hospital routinely offered for no reason at all.



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#24 of 44 Old 03-30-2004, 01:22 PM
 
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RE: “I'm afraid a Pandora's Box of unintended results may happen. I don't want the government deciding if the Family Bed is appropriate, for example. You all might see this as a clear-cut situation where the family's rights are firmly in place: but what if someone decides it is injurious to the child's psyche? [I'm trying to demonstrate that allowing the courts to intervene in this matter might -- just might--create a precedent that allows the law to interfere with our right to raise our children in a personal style that many perceive as 'alternative'.]”

Is this like the “Pandora’s Box” of unintended results of outlawing genital modification of minor females? Certainly, FGM is a “personal style.”

RE: “this Forum apparently views Dr. Gordon as 'the enemy'.”

Absolutely not! We regard him as an valued ally. We just disagree with his stance on men’s rights to the integrity of their body. I doubt there is anything else that we disagree on. He is certainly a member of our camp. That’s what this is all about. We value him and wish he would come back and be an active participant instead of brushing us off as a bunch of antagonistic crazies.

RE: “These people do not choose this work: they are called to do it. The work is sometimes thankless, and occasionally heartbreaking. It is high stress and very difficult.”

They indeed do choose it just as I chose my line of work. All of those same things could be said about how I earned my living including making sure my customers had what they needed at midnight. That does not entitle me to any respect other than for a job well done, certainly not the hero worship the medical profession think they deserve and you seem to be demanding.

RE: “why am I getting the impression we are on trial here, guilty until proven innocent?”

Simply because you are trying to defend the indefensible. You would get the same reception if you were saying the same things about FGM and there is no difference except the sex of the victim. Male circumcision and your defense of the medical profession is nothing more or less than sexist and discriminatory.


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#25 of 44 Old 03-30-2004, 05:46 PM
 
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Quote:
The truth is, MANY in the medical profession have been saying it is unecessary and harmful. Agreement among them is not 100%. The not-yet-addressed-issue is liability; would you support the lawsuits of thousands of doctors who initially believed they were doing the right thing...and came around to admitting circumcision is inappropriate?
When a doc reverses his stance, he has lots to lose. (Picture the witness stand, prosecuting counsel asks the doc, "So, you NOW believe circumcision is WRONG?"
Dr. "Yes. I've changed my policy, based on information new to me, and long, careful thought. It's a procedure I did. I no longer do them, and believe it's a violation of a child's constitutional right to wholeness."
Attorney: "Fine. You did a procedure for years that you now believe is a violation of childrens' rights. I rest my case."

-- The MD loses his shirt, his livlihood, and his practice.
-- Your cause 'wins'.
-- We all lose the benefits of a practicing physician who --according to your requirements-- must commit financial and professional suicide to be considered 'correct'.
-- Where's the incentive to ask parents to be better informed?
So, because of the liability issue, doctors should continue to offer this unnecessary surgery and solicit parents to do it -- or, not educate them as to the risks when the parents ask for it?? Because a doctor is afraid of losing his livelihood over past mistakes, he or she should continue making the same mistakes? Makes no sense at all.

Quote:
candiland,
No, we would not perform FGM at a parent's request. To my knowledge, this has not happened in the USA for many years.
And no, you're not allowed to remove the tip of your child's finger because you feel like it.

The point I'm trying to make is this fact: like it or not, parents make the decision on the issue of circumcision. It may be against the constitutional rights of the child. It is a procedure that needs to go away. We all are in agreement about this.

The point is, once you place the law as the final arbiter of a child's well-being in this case (circumcision) I'm afraid a Pandora's Box of unintended results may happen.
This also makes no sense. If Pandora's Box hasn't been opened because parents aren't allowed to cut their children's fingertips off (or engage in FGM), then why would the box be opened if circumcision were done away with? What's so special about foreskins, as opposed to any other body part, that we have to keep allowing parents to cut them off in order to keep the lid on Pandora's box?

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#26 of 44 Old 03-30-2004, 06:14 PM
 
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That bit about the doctor's liability has been bothering me all day. Let's see if I can figure that one out:

Slave owner: If I freed all of my slaves, they might sue me. If I keep them as slaves, I'm immune to prosecution.

Bank Robber: As long as I keep robbing banks, I can claim I didn't know any better but if I quit, they will know I knew better.

Alcoholic: As long as I keep drinking, I can claim I knew no better but if I quit, then I'm responsible.

Jeffery Dahlmer: As long as I keep eating my victims, there is no evidence.

The truth is that every time a doctor performs this debilitating surgery on a baby, he is increasing the odds that he will be taken to task. William Stowell settled his case with the doctor and hospital that sexually crippled him and Steven Svoboda with Attorneys For The Rights Of The Child has filed another suit and has others lined up for prosecution. He is also recruiting litigants on college campuses. One doctor has surmised that this could be the largest class action suit in the history of the US judicial system. Certainly there is damning evidence simply from the 30 year old position statement of the AAP and AMA that there is no health benefit and it is simply cosmetic surgery. 30 years is long enough for anyone to get the message. There are few doctors still practicing that can claim they preceded this statement. Every circumcision they perform simply gets them deeper in hot water and that is exactly where they belong. Continuing the aggrieved behavior does not confir immunity. It only makes them more guilty.



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#27 of 44 Old 03-30-2004, 07:11 PM
 
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Okay, I'll answer the last few posts here:

First, I want to make a few things clear.
I do not approve of male or female circumcision.
I am not defending any physician, Hospital or Clinic that continues to circumcise.
In my opinion, Parents are the strongest agents for changing Hospital and Clinic policies regarding circumcision.
As health care practitioners, we can refuse to perform these procedures, and advise parents about the harm that is done.
When my son was born (in hospital) the staff asked me to speak with a mom whose babe was born while papa was out of town: Apparently, it was against 'policy' for any of them to discuss circumcision w/her, either pro or con. Because I wasn't on staff there, it was permissible for me to do so. The staff chose me because I had the only intact male in the nursery (this was 25 years ago, in Nevada)
I don't know the current policy for Washoe Medical Center.
I mention this to demonstrate how Health Care facilities muzzle us.
The nurses on the unit found a creative way around the policy.

There are those of us who discuss the issue with parents on a daily basis: despite these efforts, some parents continue to insist upon circumcising their children.

Now back to the replies:
Sarah,
I was not aware of the incident at Harborview Hospital.
What was the outcome?

Frank,
The point I was trying to make w/the reference to Pandora's Box is awareness of the big picture. My mention of unintended by-products of legislation means I'd like to hear someone with legislative experience/insight discuss the possible ramifications.
I'm not a expert in that arena, so I lack the long view (perspective).
I think that's appropriate when one is not sure of the outcome, or how broadly such legislation could be interpreted.
I am not arguing for someone's 'right' to perform MGM or FGM, as you infer.
I'd love to see Hospitals brought into court for violation of a child's constitutional right to wholeness.
As you probably know, most facilities retain a veritable team of legal counsel.
One of their jobs is to project the possible cost of such a suit vs long term gain...sorry, but that's how they play. [NB: I'm not defending this practice, either]
Hero Worship: Funny you should mention this. I have absolutely no regrets or reticence about claiming some credit for saving lives and dramatically improving the quality of people's lives on a daily basis. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, especially crediting the Higher Power that gives us the incentive and inspiration to do this work.
I'd be the first to tell you God is the real healer; I'm just a technician! -- but a damn good one!

And Frank,
regarding your statement, "We regard him as an valued ally. We just disagree with his stance on men’s rights to the integrity of their body. I doubt there is anything else that we disagree on. He is certainly a member of our camp. That’s what this is all about. We value him and wish he would come back and be an active participant instead of brushing us off as a bunch of antagonistic crazies."
......how, and why do you suppose Jay got this impression?
I posted on this topic because I've had experience with Dr. Gordon, and know what a superb, caring, physician he is.
-- I have a problem with the dismissive, antagonistic attitude I read here about doctors and nurses.
I needed to say I disagree with the Forum's treatment of Dr. Gordon because it ignores the huge body of work he's done, and continues to do for the benefit of children.
As an advocate and practitioner of Attachment Parenting, as well as a health care professional, I am sorry to see the arena/Forum becoming polarized and increasingly antagonistic.
This does nobody any good, in my opinion.

I still believe parents, physicians, and nurses are all parts of a health care team. Unless we find some common ground, and observe some mutual respect, the future of our efforts look bleak.

"Simply because you are trying to defend the indefensible. You would get the same reception if you were saying the same things about FGM and there is no difference except the sex of the victim. Male circumcision and your defense of the medical profession is nothing more or less than sexist and discriminatory."

Where did you get the impression I support MGM and FGM?
It looks like we haven't understood each other clearly.

What I'm reading here is your insistence that I belong to a profession that deserves a heavy slamming (on this Forum) regardless of who we are, and how we actively contribute to the ending of a practice that needs to go away.

I also see that I've been misunderstood as far as my stance regarding MGM and FGM: I don't endorse or recommend either.

Quirky,
"So, because of the liability issue, doctors should continue to offer this unnecessary surgery and solicit parents to do it -- or, not educate them as to the risks when the parents ask for it?? Because a doctor is afraid of losing his livelihood over past mistakes, he or she should continue making the same mistakes? Makes no sense at all."
Nope, just the contrary: doctors ARE doing less and less circumcisions.
The risk of liability happens when a physician 'goes public' and states that his former practice (of performing circs) was unconstitutional and immoral.
How long would it take for an enterprising attorney to find one of his previous patients who would be willing to sue?

-- Many docs are quietly refusing to do the procedure anymore.

Perhaps I've misunderstood, but it seems to me this Forum demands all doctors statepublicly that he/she finds the practice in violation of human and constitutional rights....or be branded a cowardly, greedy, so-an-so....despite never having performed a circumcision, and actively counseling parents about the risks and harm involved in such a procedure.

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#28 of 44 Old 03-30-2004, 11:06 PM
 
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http://www.law.duke.edu/journals/dlj.../dlj47p717.htm
This article explains some about the Seattle thing.

As for the medical profession... how many active threads on this board are about children who were assaulted by their healthcare provider and subjected to pointless, painful and unauthorised procedures and against the current medical understanding of how they should be treated?
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#29 of 44 Old 03-31-2004, 02:01 AM
 
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i, with frank, was pondering what you said about doctors being afraid to reverse their positions because of liability issues.

purely by coincidence, i was flipping through this book by a dentist: "uniformed consent" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...2250?v=glance, at the library today, and what do i see but him talking about how he *used* to, for years, perform all these procedures he no longer recommends (and writes books condemning); yet somehow he is still a contributing member of society (and possibly still a practising dentist, i didn't have a chance to check.) he obviously thought more of protecting his patients than of bucking the system.

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#30 of 44 Old 03-31-2004, 06:14 AM
 
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RE: The point I was trying to make w/the reference to Pandora's Box is awareness of the big picture. My mention of unintended by-products of legislation means I'd like to hear someone with legislative experience/insight discuss the possible ramifications.
I'm not a expert in that arena, so I lack the long view (perspective).
I think that's appropriate when one is not sure of the outcome, or how broadly such legislation could be interpreted.


Well, I can see a concern with the experience with such legislation as NAFTA and GATT where hundreds of thousands of jobs were legislated overseas while at the same time our products were made less competitive but what could be the possible downside of stopping a procedure that has no basis and no benefits and has known risks including death? Babies do die from circumcision don’t you know? What could possibly be a benefit that would outweigh even one death? I know there were nay sayers who were saying that parents would be circumcising their daughters on the kitchen table and it has certainly happened but it has been extremely rare and there have been no deaths that I have heard of. Baby boys are dying! I say let’s go ahead with the legislation and work out the bugs when we find them. At least boys wouldn’t be dying and the FGM legislation makes allowances for medically necessary surgery. Nobody seemed worried about the downside of legislation about FGM when it was passed.


RE: Hero Worship: Funny you should mention this. I have absolutely no regrets or reticence about claiming some credit for saving lives and dramatically improving the quality of people's lives on a daily basis.

Well, yes and the garbage man can also claim hero status by removing the refuse that would attract vermin and spread disease and they do dramatically improve our lives. But the garbage man does not claim hero status and demand our respect such as the medical profession always has and they don’t put themselves on a self selected pedestal. The truth is that they have chosen an occupation and they earn a living from that profession just as the garbage man does. The medical profession deserves no more respect than the garbage man deserves.


RE: regarding your statement, "We regard him . . .
......how, and why do you suppose Jay got this impression?”


I understand there were some posts that were aggressive and were removed. I did not see them but we have asked that he come back repeatedly. You can not judge the whole based on a few individuals and the whole would like to have him come back and join us. I have no doubt he is very good at his profession and is very caring and he has much to add to this forum. However, he can’t benefit those he claims to benefit if he wears his feelings on his sleeve. I’ve had my run-ins in this issue but I always stand my ground and I am always consistent in my message. As a result of standing that ground, being consistent in my message and maintaining my ethics, I am well respected and valued here. That happened because I earned that respect, not because I demanded or expected it. It just came.
Dr. Gordon came here with that respect. It was pre-earned but by dodging us and the issues, he is losing that respect very quickly. It’s like one of my early career managers said once: “It doesn’t matter what you did yesterday. All that matters is what you do today and tomorrow. Yesterday is gone.”


RE: Where did you get the impression I support MGM and FGM?
It looks like we haven't understood each other clearly.


From your posts it appears that you have anointed yourself as the official excuse maker and apologist for the medical profession.


RE: What I'm reading here is your insistence that I belong to a profession that deserves a heavy slamming (on this Forum) regardless of who we are, and how we actively contribute to the ending of a practice that needs to go away.

Only those who contribute to the genital modification of men deserve heavy slamming and that is because they earn that slamming every day. Paul Fleiss, Robert Van Howe and many unnamed others who refuse to perform or endorse the procedure or to assert the rights of others over the integrity of men’s bodies are the heroes. They have endured the slings and arrows and put their careers on the line when this was a far less popular issue. They have earned their status.


RE:I also see that I've been misunderstood as far as my stance regarding MGM and FGM: I don't endorse or recommend either.

We understand this and we applaud you for your stance. What we don’t endorse is the assertion that anyone has the right to demand or perform cosmetic, non-beneficial, sexually damaging, life threatening surgery on an unconsenting being without the express consent of that individual. That seems to be your stance.


RE: The risk of liability happens when a physician 'goes public' and states that his former practice (of performing circs) was unconstitutional and immoral.
How long would it take for an enterprising attorney to find one of his previous patients who would be willing to sue?


How about the plaintiff’s attorney saying “Why did you continue doing circumcisions when the medical professions have clearly stated the risks outweigh any unproven benefits?” “Why did you find it ethical to put your patient’s lives at risk to perform a procedure that has no known benefit to the patient?” “Why did you continue to perform this procedure when there has been a building body of evidence that it is sexually damaging?” “Why did you perform this procedure at birth when the procedure could have been postponed until adulthood when the patient could decide for himself?” It would look far better to a jury that a physician had recognized the error of his ways and quit the offending action than to ignore the official position of his professional fraternity and act in disregard of that recommendation that is more than 30 years old and has been restated often. Think of the young man who robs a convenience store and realizes he has done wrong. 30 years later, after living an exemplary life and working to make things better for his fellow Americans better, he is caught. Do you think he would be treated differently than a man who had been robbing convenience stores on a weekly basis throughout the 30 years? Of course he would be and that is as it should be and the way it would be if a doctor decided to reject the practice of circumcising infants.


RE: -- Many docs are quietly refusing to do the procedure anymore.

Three cheers for them! They are doing the brave and ethical thing!


RE: Perhaps I've misunderstood, but it seems to me this Forum demands all doctors state publicly that he/she finds the practice in violation of human and constitutional rights....or be branded a cowardly, greedy, so-an-so....despite never having performed a circumcision, and actively counseling parents about the risks and harm involved in such a procedure.

It is the medical profession who started this but they have been reticent to end it. They need to step up to the plate and take responsibility. They are the professionals and they should start acting professionally. If they don’t have the guts to take a stand, they are cowards. If they are worried about their practice suffering a financial loss, they are greedy. That pretty much says it all. I don’t see shades of grey here. It is men’s sexuality and lives that are in the balance.



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